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How to Clean a Grinder in 4 Easy Steps

How to Clean a Grinder in 4 Easy Steps

If you have ever rolled a joint with clumpy weed that you broke apart with your hands, you'll understand why owning a grinder is the better option.

Grinding is far more efficient, and it’s the best way to evenly break your weed up. An even grind means your joints will smoke smoothly, cleanly, and without canoeing. It’s also a great way to stack a larger amount of weed in your bong or pipe for a potent hit!

However, after using your grinder a hundred times, you will notice it starts to get clogged up with the icky, sticky buds. This is especially bad if you’re smoking some really high-grade stuff that tends to be super sticky.

Cleaning your grinder is the best way to keep it grinding like it did on the first day you bought it. We want your cannabis smoking experience to be easy and efficient!

Keep reading to find out how to clean a grinder properly.

Why It’s Important To Clean Your Grinder

If you’re reading this, you’ve already noticed why it's important to clean your grinder.

All that marijuana gunk leads to a grinder that gets stuck while in use. It's really annoying to constantly scrape your grinder clean when you’re just trying to roll a joint. All this extra stuff also clogs up the blades, meaning you don’t get that nice, fine grind you want.

If you need another reason to clean it, there may also be some health implications. Since marijuana is a plant material, leaving it to stew will eventually lead to mold growth. You don’t want to risk a lung infection, nausea, or even worse, bad-tasting weed!

Things You’ll Need To Clean Your Grinder

What exactly do you need to clean your grinder? Fortunately, the tools of the trade are pretty simple.

You can probably find most of these in your house right now, and if not, there’s always an alternative.

  • Isopropyl alcohol (alternatively, you can use an 80/20 mix of water and white vinegar).
  • A toothbrush or any kind of stiff brush.
  • A resealable bag, glass jar, or Tupperware that can fit your grinder.
  • Paper towels or an old rag.
  • Water (hot water works best).
  • A small baggie to store kief and excess weed.
  • Toothpicks or a small pair of scissors

And the most important item: a dirty grinder.

How To Clean Your Grinder

You can find many different grinders on the market that will get the job done. Some are simple, two-piece grinders made of plastic that hold a small amount of weed. Higher-quality ones are made from metals like aluminum, zinc, or stainless steel.

The best grinders are multi-chambered, so you can collect valuable kief with every grind. Kief is another word for the fine cannabis trichomes that separate from the rest of the bud. If you want a super strong bong or joint, sprinkle some kief into it!

For the purposes of the article, we will be showing you how to clean a 4-piece grinder without losing any kief. You can still use this method for any other grinder, so long as it is metal.

So, let's take a look at how to clean your grinder:

Step One: Take apart the grinder and remove excess material.

Unscrew all the pieces of your grinder. Empty your kief and any remaining weed into their respective baggies.

There should be plenty of excess weed stuck in all the nooks and crannies of the grinder, so pick out as much as you can with your toothpick or small scissors.

You can save all of this to be used again.

Step Two: Clean the grinder with isopropyl alcohol or a white vinegar solution.

Next up, you will place your grinder in the container of your choice. Fill it up with enough cleaning solution to submerge all the pieces.

You can give it a little shake and pretend you are a dishwasher to get everything coated.

Leave it to soak for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how dirty it is. You should see plenty of gunk liberating itself from the grinder.

Step Three: Scrub-a-dub-dub

Before you rinse the cleaning solution from the grinder, give it a good scrub with your brush to make sure it is spotless.

You can also use the toothpick if there is anything left in hard-to-reach places.

Step Four: Rinse and dry

Your grinder should be mostly clean, but you don’t want any remaining alcohol or vinegar solution left over.

Rinse it under hot water and dry it off with your paper towels or rag. It should be fully dry before you use it again.

Step Five: Celebrate with some freshly ground marijuana

You now have a squeaky-clean grinder! The next logical step would be to grind up some tasty bud for a joint, pipe, or bong.

Load up your grinder and watch it work like the day you bought it.

As you can see, it's pretty simple to keep your grinder clean, so there is no reason not to!

Bonus Grinder Cleaning Method

Since you have made it this far into the article, here is a cool bonus method you can try out for cleaning your grinder:

It might sound strange, but cleaning your grinder in milk is a great way to get the most out of the remaining cannabis. All you have to do is take apart your grinder and place it in a pot of boiling milk.

Since THC binds to fat when heated, the milk will become infused with the remaining buds in the grinder. This is an awesome way to get a potent dose of high chocolate, uhh, I mean hot chocolate.

*Please note that this can only be done with metal grinders that are not painted.

When Should You Replace Your Grinder?

There is no exact science for determining when you should replace your grinder. A good-quality one could last 5–10 years if taken care of. However, there are some things you can look out for:

If the blades are too dull to grind weed.

If it is getting jammed up very often.

One of the teeth has broken (this is in the case of plastic grinders).

While many grinders may feel indestructible, they actually aren’t. Personal experience has taught me that dropping a grinder can bend the thread out of place, making it difficult to screw it together again. Sure, you can bend it back, but it just never works the same.

Honestly, a good-quality grinder does not cost much and is a worthy investment. Plastic ones don’t last at all, so you might as well splurge and get something that works like a dream.


After reading this article, we hope you know exactly how to clean your grinder!

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